Non-stationary systems, which are commonly encountered in many fields of science, are characterized by time-varying features and require time-frequency methods for their analysis. This study considers the problem of identification and model updating of a non-stationary vibrating system. In particular, a number of identification methods and a model updating procedure are evaluated and compared through application to a time-varying “bridge-like” laboratory structure. The identification approaches include Frequency Response Function based parameter estimation techniques, Subspace Identification and Functional Series modelling. All methods are applied to both output-only and input-out-put data. Model updating is based upon a theoretical model of the structure obtained using a Rayleigh-Ritz methodology, which is updated to account for time-dependence and nonlinearity via the identification results. Interesting comparisons, among both identification and model updating results, are performed. The results of the study demonstrate high modelling accuracy, illustrating the effectiveness of model updating techniques in non-stationary vibration modelling.

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